In the Tambov region, a criminal case on the theft of 10 million rubles was submitted to the court. federal subsidies at the Michurinsk State Agrarian University. The former Vice-Rector and Professor Galina Korotkova will be in the dock. The woman pleaded guilty to fabricating the results of scientific, developmental and technological work and is cooperating with the investigation. The investigation of the case against other defendants, the director of the local engineering center Andrey Zavrazhnov and the former rector Vadim Babushkin, is about to be completed, they do not admit guilt.
The prosecutor’s office of the Tambov region approved the indictment in a criminal case of fraud on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, up to ten years in prison) against the former vice-rector of the Michurinsky State Agrarian University, 50-year-old Galina Korotkova. According to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia, it will be submitted for consideration to the local district court.
The investigation was conducted by the second department for the investigation of particularly important cases of the department of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) for the Tambov region. The crime was uncovered a year ago by operatives of the local FSB: they revealed the theft of budgetary funds at the Michurinsk Agrarian University during the implementation of the federal project “Development of integration processes in the field of science, higher education and industry” of the national project “Science and Universities”. In November 2019, the university received 25 million rubles from it. for the implementation of a comprehensive project to create high-tech production.
According to investigators, in order to steal part of this money, Ms. Korotkova entered into a criminal conspiracy with the now former rector Vadim Babushkin and director of the engineering center of the university Andrei Zavrazhnov.
Andrei Zavrazhnov, according to investigators, drew up fictitious contracts with commercial companies for the supply of various inventory items, which the university did not actually receive. From November 2019 to December 2021, Vice-Rector Galina Korotkova prepared and signed reporting documents that did not correspond to reality in terms of the amount of work performed. They were approved by the rector of the university.
As a result of criminal actions, according to investigators, more than 10 million rubles were stolen, which scientists spent on the purchase of household goods for personal purposes. The goals of the subsidy were not achieved.
Galina Korotkova was taken into custody at the end of May last year, but was released under house arrest in August. She entered into a pre-trial agreement with the prosecutor’s office, fully admitting her guilt. Her defender Elena Kallaur asked to cancel the arrest with reference to the expiration of the client’s foreign passport and to the seizure of property in the amount of damage. The court retained the preventive measure.
The investigation of the criminal case against 63-year-old Andrei Zavrazhnov and 56-year-old Vadim Babushkin is in its final stages, Kommersant was told in the regional department of the TFR.
In April last year, Andrei Zavrazhnov was placed under house arrest. A month later, the preventive measure was tightened, and the scientist ended up in a pre-trial detention center. Kommersant’s sources in law enforcement explain that Andrei Zavrazhnov violated the prohibitions assigned to him several times by talking to a witness in a criminal case and using the means of communication. In the fall, the measure of restraint was softened, returning the man under house arrest. While in custody, his health deteriorated. The last time the preventive measure was extended in mid-February.
Andrei Zavrazhnov is the son of Anatoly Zavrazhnov, an outstanding scientist and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who created a scientific school and made a great contribution to the development of the theory and methods for designing machines and technological lines for the preparation and distribution of feed on livestock farms and complexes.
For more than 20 years, the father of the accused headed the Michurin Fruit and Vegetable Institute, which is the predecessor of the current state university, and also acted as one of the initiators of the transformation of Michurinsk into the first science city in the agro-industrial complex of Russia. Last summer, after the arrest of his son, 83-year-old academician Anatoly Zavrazhnov was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, III degree, by decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Andrey Zavrazhnov’s lawyer Sergei Petrenko told Kommersant that he could not comment on the case without the consent of his principal. The prosecutor’s office of the Tambov region clarified to Kommersant that the scientist does not admit guilt. The same applies to Vadim Babushkin: his lawyer Igor Zhmaev, in a complaint about house arrest, under which his principal has been since the beginning of the year, argued that the documents of the university indicate the innocence of the former rector.
United Russia has suspended membership in the party of Vadim Babushkin, who is a deputy of the Tambov Regional Duma. He left the post of rector before the initiation of a criminal case in March 2022 after seven years of work: the university noted that Vadim Babushkin had “big plans” ahead, and he himself “will concentrate on academic activities and transferring experience to the younger generation of highly qualified personnel.”